Bioprinting of Human Neural Tissues Using a Sustainable Marine Tunicate-Derived Bioink for Translational Medicine Applications

Soja Saghar Soman, Mano Govindraj, Noura Al Hashimi, Jiarui Zhou, Sanjairaj Vijayavenkataraman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bioprinting of nervous tissue is a major challenge in the bioprinting field due to its soft consistency and complex architecture. The first step in efficient neural bioprinting is the design and optimization of printable bioinks which favor the growth and differentiation of neural tissues by providing the mechanophysiological properties of the native tissue microenvironment. However, till date, limited studies have been conducted to make tissue specific bioinks. Here, we report a novel bioink formulation specifically designed for bioprinting and differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs) to peripheral neurons, using a marine tunicate-derived hydrogel and Matrigel. The formulation resulted in seamless bioprinting of NSCs with minimal processing time from bioink preparation to in vitro culture. The tissues exhibited excellent post-printing viability and cell proliferation along with a precise peripheral nerve morphology on in vitro differentiation. The cultured tissues showed significant cell recovery after subjecting to a freeze-thaw cycle of −80 to 37°C, indicating the suitability of the method for developing tissues compatible for long-term storage and transportation for clinical use. The study provides a robust method to use a sustainable bioink for three-dimensional bioprinting of neural tissues for translational medicine applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-95
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Bioprinting
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2022


  • 3d bioprinting
  • Extrusion bioprinting
  • Neural stem cells
  • Peripheral neurons
  • Sustainable bioink

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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